Today's my first birthday. It's been a year to the day since I started my current job and I couldn't be happier. As an Arts graduate (French and Comparative Literature to be precise), jobs can be few and far between. Whilst other professions like medicine and law are still hugely competitive, at least there's still a sense of 'direction' - with an Arts based degree, you can (almost) throw yourself into anything...but is there a benefit in being a jack of all trades but a master of none?
I graduated in 2011. And decided to move home. A four year course straight from sixth form saw me determined to have a year out, and to settle the wanderlust. I moved home, I worked full-time in hospitality and saved. I'd arranged my year-long working holiday visa for Australia, booked my one way flight to Thailand (to coincide with my sister's wedding) and had practically packed. What I hadn't factored in so much was meeting someone - someone who I then went on to fall madly in love with. I still went away for the wedding but whilst I was sunning myself on a glorious sandy beach, I started to put things into perspective - I was dangerously into my overdraft, pretty lonely already, and at 22 (a year older than most 'normal' graduates) worried that I was going to slip even further behind in the working world.
So I cut my losses. I came back. And whilst there's definitely moments (normally rainy, cold, miserable moments) where I am suddenly struck with regret, I think it was the best decision I could've made.
I came back and threw myself at recruitment agencies whilst applying for dozens of jobs a day. I needed anything - so applied for anything. I started getting interviews and would travel up to London several times a week, suited and booted, to shake many hands and fill out many forms. I'd have eight meetings scheduled in my diary each week and would end up crashing on old housemates' floors to save on the extortionate train fares. I temped at Zaggora, I temped at TNS...before getting a fully paid three month internship at creative design agency, Imano. There I was thrown into all sorts of situations and when my time was up, I felt a lot more confident about what I wanted from my career.
Where previously, I'd happily considered anything in any industry, I was this time resolute that I needed to be 'creative'. Having always been an Arts-y type person, I could see that ending up in a corporate environment just wouldn't work for me (although maybe the money would have).
I applied for my current job, was put forward for it straight away, met two members of the team one day, then the rest a few days later...and waited. Waited for that joyous phone call of acceptance. I've now been here a year - based in Soho, I get to travel all over the country, establish and develop great relationships with all our clients and be part of a lively team. I was promoted and given two payrises and honestly love coming into work each day (even if I do have a 6.30am train for a four hour journey this week).
If you'd asked me where I'd be two years ago, I wouldn't have dreamed of the opportunities I've been given. Whilst sunning myself around the world is a very tempting prospect, I'm well on my way to a great career - and can still beach it up, this time with the bigger budget.